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FOR THE CHRISTIAN DISCIPLE.
Father in Heaven, to thee my heart
Drive from my soul each earthly thought,
Each moment of my life renews
The mercies of the Lord, Each moment is itself a gift, To bear me on to God.
Beneath the shadow of thy wings
And guarded when I siept.
Why should'st thou make me thus thy care, A weak and sinful man,
Who have refused to render thee,
The little that I can ?
The spirit which thou gavest me,
And I have wasted that on earth,
But blessed be thy holy name,
O help me break the galling chains
And do thou kindle in my breast
Of holy love, of grateful trust,
Tracts of the Boston Publishing Fund :-viz. James Talbot, an American tale;-Life of Eleanor Moreland;-Some account of Thomas Dormer, with hints on early rising ;Drunkenness, its advantages and disadvantages;-History of Isaac Jenkins, his wife, and their three children, with an agreeable and happy sequel;-The Lottery Ticket, an American tale ;-Edmund and Margaret; or sobriety and faithfulness rewarded;-Abstract of Sacred History, being the first part of the Geneva catechism.
THIS institution, whose first organization we announced nearly a year since, went into operation during the last Autumn, and has thus far, been more successful than was anticipated. It is intended chiefly for the benefit of those classes of the community, to whom the price even of a small book is a matter of considerable consequence; and its purpose is, to furnish these classes with useful and religious reading, cheaper than they can now obtain irreligious, fanatical and unprofitable-to make it, in short, their interest to buy good books.
To effect this, a moderate fund was raised, and, from this fund, several small works have been published, which are sold at so low a rate, that all, but the poorest, can purchase them. The first of these, James Talbot, an original tale, is a remarkably happy story showing the mode, in which industrious habits and religious impressions were produced in a child of very poor parents. We have seldom read any thing of the kind written with greater simplicity and truth, or more calculated to effect the object, for which it was intended;-and that it has been useful and acceptable, we know, not only from the circumstance, that an edition of 3000 copies has been sold in a short time; but because several children have been much moved and influenced by it, and one in particular, induced to imitate the hero of the story, so far as to make his own shoes. With these proofs of general approbation, therefore, and particular usefulness, we trust the author of this excellent tract will go on to write others;-for, as it is a great objection to the best publications of this sort among us, that they are adapt
ed to a state of manners, feelings and character very different from our own, it is obvious, that a person of as much talent and as strong religious impressions, as the author of James Talbot, can hardly be more usefully employed, than in furnishing our own community with similar works, suited to our particular wants, with the skill shown in this.
Several other publications have succeeded to James Talbot. The Lottery Ticket, intended to discourage the passion for this insinuating form of gambling, by an account of a New-Hampshire farmer, who became its victim, has been well received, and will, no doubt, do good. The History of Isaac Jenkins was written by the well known Doctor Beddoes, to discourage intemperance; and several hundred thousand copies are said to have been printed in England. It is a narrative of facts, given in a bold, direct, popular style, which we have never seen be fore used in any similar way, but which we should be very glad to see imitated; for, we doubt not, it is calculated to produce a strong impression on those for whom it is chiefly intended.-Eleanor Moreland, Thomas Dormer, Drunkenness, its advantages and disadvantages; and one or two others that have been sent out by the publishing fund quite lately, are also such, as seem to us well calculated for our state of society; but we have not time or room to speak of them in detail.
We wish, however, to say a word of the Geneva Catechism, the first part of which is just issued from the press. The want of a work of this sort has been seriously felt by those engaged in the religious instruction of the young. Since the Westminster Catechism was disused by a large portion of the Christian community, as suited to communicate error rather than instruction, we have not been in possession of any catechism, except such as teach the merest elements of religious truth; and, for want of some more comprehensive manual, the systematic instruction of children has too often ceased, at the very period, when most might be promised from it ;--when they are neither too young to be taught, nor too old for their character to be pliable. The Geneva catechism appears to us completely to supply this need. It is a recent translation of that, which is in use in the Swiss and French Protestant churches. It consists of three parts; the first, which is just published here, being an abstract of the Sacred History; the second, on the truths, and the third, on the duties of the Christian Religion. The first part admits of no higher merit, than that of being judiciously and accurately drawn up. The two latter exhibit a comprehensive view of the Christian system of faith and practice, free from any thing, which a christian parent need fear to
teach his child. The whole, we think, is a work of distingiushed ability and value; and calculated, not only to instruct the young, to whose use, we hope, it will be extensively introduced, but to systematize and mature the knowledge of their elders.
The publishing fund, however, is not intended to be confined to the printing and cheapening small books. Miss Edgeworth's new and excellent story of Frank going to a public school, has been just put to press by it; and, as its means increase, larger and larger books will be disseminated through its operation, in classes of society, where they never could otherwise have penetrated. We, therefore, hope, that it will have all the encouragement, which those, interested in the intellectual, moral, and religious improvement of society, can give it-that those, who have not yet subscribed to its fund, will now do it; that those, who have not yet bought its publications, will now buy them ;-and that it may thus be enabled to go on with the same success, upon a larger scale, that it has already had on one comparatively humble.
Clerical Discipline, exemplified by the Franklin Association, in the late measures, adopted by them towards the author. Accompanied with illustrations and remarks. By Joseph Field, Pastor of a Church in Charlemont. Greenfield, 8vo. pp. 24.
OUR readers who recollect the account which we gave in our last number of Mr. Field's attempt to explain the doctrine of the Trinity, in consistency with the unity of God,' will not be surprized to learn that he has been dealt with by his orthodox neighbours, and requested not to preach in their pulpits. No one acquainted with the spirit and signs of the times, could fail to perceive the hazard in which he had placed himself, by his rash attempt to lift the veil from a holy mystery. He had not, indeed, gone the whole length of that heresy which is so furiously cried down in the land, but was merely an inquirer, groping after light, if haply he might feel and find it; yet because this light led him a little astray from the old doctrine, it was no excuse that he thought it from heaven-he must suffer for it. Our orthodox brethren seem to think, that to differ from them is in itself a crime; the design, the motive, the moral cause, the conscientiousness, sincerity, piety, are not to be taken into
the account. The best intentions cannot, in their view, render dissent innocent. To presume to inquire, is sin, to doubt, is to follow the suggestions of satan, to defend and publish dissent is to deserve exclusion from christian fellowship, and a threat of eternal wrath. Mr. Field should have considered this, for he lives where there are staring witnesses to its truth. Yet he seems never to have thought it possible that it could be so with him. He opened his mind candidly, to those around him, and thought they would not condemn a brother until they had argued and laboured with him concerning his alleged errors.' Although, as he says, he knew there were men amongst them 'capable of intrigue,' yet he never harboured a jealousy, that they could have views which would lead them to treat him in so ungenerous and unchristian a manner.' But his unsuspecting temper led him into error. His friends and familiar acquaintance, yea, the very men that acknowledge they have "received from him much instruction,' and have 'looked to him as an oracle,' rejected him as a heretic, but without taking the trouble of a second or even a first admonition.
We have no personal knowledge of Mr. Field or of the circumstances of the present transaction. We cannot help regretting, however, that he has not been able to bear this visitation with more equanimity, and that his pamphlet is not better written. But perhaps we might find some excuse for the first burst of emotion in a man, who is suddenly aroused from his delusion and finds himself betrayed where he placed confidence. Even the strong and sometimes coarse sarcasm which he employs, helps to indicate an honesty and strait forwardness of purpose and spirit which cannot be disapproved. And whatever may be the blemishes of a pamphlet, thus written hastily under circumstances of strong excitement and sudden impulse, the case itself has some claim to attention, and will suggest to our readers matter for useful reflection.
Mr. Field, it appears, was a member of the Franklin Association' of ministers, and had been so since its formation. Now every one knows that an association has no ecclesiastical authority or domination. Undoubtedly such a body may reject from it any member it pleases; it may do this on the charge of erroneous opinions in theology, or for sins against good taste in composition, or for any assignable cause. But this would be very inconsistent with the object of the association, and opposed to the almost universal practice in the churches; such bodies being, in every part of the country, constituted year after year of members who differ, and are known to differ, widely in theological sentiment. They never were intended to be tribunals